Bravo to the NBA 2K League, its players, coaches, and management for another successful tournament. THE TURN powered by AT&T is in the books, as we have the winner of the second sector of the BANNER CHAIN, and they reside in the Queen City.
Here are my post-TURN thoughts and observations.
And the Rookie Shall Lead Them…
Hornets Venom GT took home the win as they outlasted the rest of the league en-route to winning THE TURN on Sunday. Rookie shooting guard Rigby won tournament MVP behind 25 points and 4 assists per-game averages.
Rigby and Shifty Kaii continue to shine from the 2-guard spot with standout all-around performances. Rigby was the ignitor in HVGT’s Finals sweep of the upstart Blazer5 squad. He poured in 31 points on 8-of-12 shooting from three in Game 1, and played an effective Robin to Sherm’s Batman in Game 2 with 18 points to complement his backcourt mate’s 20-point showing.
Heading into the tournament, HVGT’s inconsistency discouraged me from picking them to win it all, and the tendency reared its head on Day 2 when they were pushed to three games by the scrappy Knicks Gaming squad.
However, they found a way to put it together when they needed to, and now they have more momentum than anyone heading into Week 7 of the regular season.
Fabulous Resurgence of Heat Check Gaming
HVGT won THE TURN, but aside from their championship run, the story of the tournament has to be Heat Check Gaming reaching the semifinals. This team’s resurgence has been remarkable.
They started the season 1-7. However, they went on to win seven of their next eight games heading into their bye in Week 6.
They pulled off the major first-round upset over Pacers Gaming. It was the first time in NBA 2K League history that a No. 15 seed had defeated a No. 2 in a tournament series. To prove it wasn’t a fluke, HCG disposed of the red-hot Kings Guard Gaming in a thrilling three-game series to reach the final four grouping.
They eventually ran into HVGT buzz saw on Saturday when they were swept, and handedly beaten in two games. Still, HCG proved themselves and they are among the four of five toughest outs in the league right now.
Wizards District Gaming Stunned
I’ll admit, my pick to win THE TURN was Wizards District Gaming. Defensively, they had been so tough inside and out with Just Awkward and Dayfri. Also, they play so unselfishly on offense, that it seemed no one would beat them in a series.
Blazer5 proved me wrong as they blazed a trail to the finals where they too fell to HVGT.
As it is, I won’t get too down on WDG. They made it to the final day of the tournament, and I expect they will regroup and be ready for Week 8 as they are off in Week 7.
Blazer5 Trending Up
While I called HCG one of the biggest stories of the tournament, we should also recognize Blazer5 for making it into the finals.
Bash’s scoring was phenomenal, and had his team knocked off HVGT, it probably would have been his MVP award for the tournament. Also, it’s important to note, GOOFY 757 is the first center I’ve seen all year to outplay Dayfri.
The two Season 1 OG’s battled it out for two games and GOOFY got the better of his fellow 2K legend, limiting Dayfri to just two rebounds in Game 1.
Like HVGT, B5 has had its troubles with consistency this season, but there is reason for excitement in that camp.
Man, How ‘Bout Those Studio Shots?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome highlights we saw from the TURN in Season 2. It was awesome to see that in-studio vibe with the energy that screams real Esports. I know the 2K League will get back to the studio at some point, but seeing the highlight reel gave me all the feels.
Brian Mazique is a life-long hoops junkie and a fan of the NBA 2K franchise since its inception in 1999. Professionally, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, and has covered sports and video games for the past 15 years for a variety of platforms, including Bleacher Report, Forbes, and Heavy.com. The views on this page are that of this writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA 2K League or its clubs.